Hyundai, betting on an economic rebound in Thailand, is looking to boost sales in the country next year as part of an overall plan to grow market share in Southeast Asia.
“We are eyeing Thailand closely as this market is important for us, along with other countries in Southeast Asia,” company spokesman Seokjoong Kang tells the Bangkok-based The Nation newspaper.
“We will continue to export small and medium-size (vehicles) to Southeast Asia.”
Kang says with Hyundai’s assembly plant in Bangkok closed due to low sales, the automaker’s presence in Thailand revolves only around marketing. Models currently exported to the country include the H1 minivan, Elantra sedan and Santa Fe multipurpose vehicle.
“We expect that the Thai economy will rebound next year and that will affect our exports,” Kang says.
Hyundai’s major Korean production base in Ulsan City built 1.5 million units last year with about 1 million exported. Kang says the Ulsan plant can increase its capacity to nearly 2 million units a year if required, adding, “That depends on market demand outside.”
Hyundai builds 4.9 million cars a year at 15 plants in 18 countries and has 15 models. But it ranked No.12 in 2014 light-vehicle sales in Thailand, delivering just 4,062 units, according to WardsAuto data.